30 Cities That Are Getting Too Expensive for Retirees

Cynthia Measom

When selecting a retirement destination, year-round sunny weather and beautiful vistas are often priorities for retirees. And cities in states such as Arizona, California and Florida are popular choices for such a lifestyle.

You’ll have to be selective about where you live if you want to adhere to a budget, however. Although you can still find some cities in these states that can provide an affordable retirement, others are getting too expensive.

To help you avoid making the mistake of moving to a place that will take a much larger bite out of your hard-earned nest egg than necessary, GOBankingRates did the research.

By looking at factors such as the percentage of the population over 65, median home list price, annual cost-of-living expenses and whether there are taxes on Social Security or retirement income, GOBankingRates found 30 cities you might want to avoid if stretching your nest egg is a priority.

30. Sun City, Arizona

Although Sun City, Arizona, ranks No. 30 among cities that are getting too expensive for retirees, that doesn’t mean the costs of living here aren’t noticeably on the rise. The year-over-year percentage change in the median list price has risen by 10.11%, which ranks the seventh-highest on the list. Still, this city has the highest percentage of seniors 65 and older of the cities studied at 75.64%.

29. Huntley, Illinois

Huntley, Illinois, is one of the locations on the list that has no retirement or Social Security taxes. But home prices are on the rise. The city has a five-year median list price increase of 21.06%.

28. Palm City, Florida

In Palm City, Florida, seniors can save money because there are no retirement or Social Security taxes. The median list price for a home, however, has risen 21.18% over the past five years and is now $408,692.27.

27. Ormond Beach, Florida

In Ormond Beach, Florida, the median home list price has risen 26.62% in the past five years. Plus, the total annual cost-of-living expenses aren’t exactly cheap at $54,192.24.

26. Hot Springs Village, Arkansas

The majority of the population in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas — 61.52% — is 65 or older, but that might change because of rising home prices. Over the past five years, there’s been a 31.25% increase in the average median list price.

25. Rancho Mirage, California

While there are no taxes on Social Security in Rancho Mirage, California, there are taxes on retirement income. Plus, the average median list price — $620,099.88 — and the total average annual expenses are some of the highest on this list. Even so, more than half of the residents here are 65 or older.

24. Niles, Illinois

Seniors can enjoy not having to pay retirement taxes or Social Security taxes in Niles, Illinois. However, the annual cost of living expenses are considerable at $62,471.61.

23. Bella Vista, Arkansas

In Bella Vista, Arkansas, seniors are required to pay taxes on retirement income. In addition, home prices are creeping up. The city has seen a 24.18% median home list price increase over the past five years.

22. Oro Valley, Arizona

Living in Oro Valley, Arizona, isn’t cheap. For example, the total annual cost-of-living expenses are $60,364.13, and the current average median home list price in the city is $349,903.69.

21. Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota, Florida, might sound like an enticing retirement destination, but the annual cost-of-living expenses — $54,593.66 — might dampen your enthusiasm. Plus, home prices are creeping higher and higher. Over the past five years, the median home list price has jumped 25.07%.

20. Sebastian, Florida

Retirees who decide on Sebastian, Florida, as their golden years’ destination won’t have to budget for taxes on their retirement income or Social Security benefits. But they will have to worry about paying a higher price for a home. The percentage increase for the median home list price over the past five years is 31.91%.

19. Palm Desert, California

In Palm Desert, California, the total annual cost-of-living expenses are the seventh-highest on the list at $67,489.41. In addition, retirees must pay taxes on their retirement income.

18. Prescott, Arizona

Prescott, Arizona, ranks in the top 10 for total cost-of-living expenditures at $63,726.06. And the average median list price for a home isn’t cheap either at $445,276.15.

17. Palm Harbor, Florida

Although taxes on retirement income and Social Security benefits aren’t a concern for retirees in Palm Harbor, Florida, the rising cost of homes might be. The median home list price percentage change over the past five years equals 28.10%. Plus, the total annual cost-of-living expenditures add up to $58,708.26.

16. Fountain Hills, Arizona

The median list price for a home in Fountain Hills, Arizona, is currently $490,776.92 — a figure that’s the result of a five-year median list price percentage change of 26.80%.

15. Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Seniors 65 and older who are thinking about Lake Havasu City, Arizona, as a retirement destination might want to think again. In the past five years, the median home list price has increased by 32.13%. As food for thought, the most current average median list price is $328,625.96.

14. Palm Coast, Florida

Those contemplating Palm Coast, Florida, for retirement won’t have to worry about paying taxes on their Social Security benefits or retirement income. What they will have to worry about, however, is how much a home is going to cost. The five-year median list price percentage change for a home in this city is 34.01%.

13. Port Charlotte, Florida

In Port Charlotte, Florida, retirees don’t have to worry about paying taxes on retirement or Social Security income. But home prices are on the rise. Over the past five years, the city has experienced a 39.06% increase in its median home list price.

12. Banning, California

In Banning, California, retirees have to pay taxes on their retirement income but not on their Social Security benefits. The total annual cost-of-living expenses could negate those savings, however. It’s in the top 12 on the list at $60,665.20.

11. Dunedin, Florida

Among the cities on the list, Dunedin, Florida, ranks No. 2  for the highest median home list price increase at 43.33%. Maybe that’s why only 30.55% of the population here is age 65 or older.

10. Largo, Florida

Largo, Florida, had the third-highest median home list price increase in the previous five years at 41.22%. Thankfully, retirees might get a slight break because there are no taxes on retirement income or Social Security benefits here.

9. Apache Junction, Arizona

Apache Junction, Arizona, ranks in the top 10 for median home list price increase. Over the past five years, home prices have jumped by 31.82%. Plus, senior residents in this city are subject to taxes on their retirement income.

8. Palm Springs, California

The median home list prices in Palm Springs, California, are on the higher side at $478,334.15. Plus, the total annual cost-of-living expenses are also within the top five most expensive on the list at $72,607.57.

7. Pahrump, Nevada

In Pahrump, Nevada, there are no taxes on retirement or Social Security income, but median home prices have increased 27.05% over the past five years. Plus, the city has the largest year-over-year median list price change on the list.

6. Bullhead City, Arizona

Even though the median home list price in Bullhead City, Arizona, isn’t astronomical at $252,807.42, home prices have been increasing. Over the past five years, the median list price of a home has increased 23.46%. In fact, the city has the second-highest year-over-year median list price change.

5. Englewood, Florida

Seniors in Englewood, Florida, have seen a 46% increase over the past five years in median home list price. The current average median list price in the city is $428,249.04. Plus, total annual cost-of-living expenditures are $53,188.68.

4. Tamarac, Florida

Tamarac, Florida, is the fourth-most expensive city on the list for retirees. While there are no taxes on Social Security or retirement income, the median list price for a home has jumped by 40% over the past five years.

3. Lincoln, California

In Lincoln, California, the current median home list price is one of the five highest on the list at $487,501.54. The total annual cost-of-living expenses are in the top five most expensive, too, at $75,417.53.

2. Walnut Creek, California

Costs must be high in Walnut Creek, California, for it to take second place on the list. To give you some perspective, total annual cost-of-living expenditures here are the second-highest on the list at $113,151.39. And the average median home list price is $756,307.69 — also good for No. 2.

1. Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Rancho Palos Verdes, California, topped the list of cities that are getting too expensive for retirees — and for good reason. Total annual cost-of-living expenditures are $150,584.18, which are the highest on the list. Plus, retirement income is taxed, and the median list price for a home is also the highest on the list at a whopping $1,367,961.50.

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates analyzed 50 cities with large senior populations (i.e., 25% or more of the population aged 65 or older), according to the 2017 American Community Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find 30 cities that are becoming too expensive for retirees. GOBankingRates used the following criteria: (1) percent of population aged 65 or older, sourced from the 2017 American Community Survey; (2) July 2018-July 2019 median home list price, sourced from Zillow; (3) year-over-year change (%) in median home list price, sourced from Zillow; (4) 5-year change (%) in median home list price, sourced from Zillow; (5) annual total cost of living expenditures for a person aged 65 and older, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2017-2018 Consumer Expenditure Survey and local cost of living indices sourced from Sperling’s Best Places; (6) whether there are taxes imposed on Social Security benefits, sourced from AARP; and (7) whether there is a tax imposed on retirement income,  sourced from individual state websites. All these factors were then scored, with the lower score being best, and combined to give a final score. In the combining of factors, three and four were weighted 1.5 times. All data was collected and is up to date as of Sept. 4, 2019.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 30 Cities That Are Getting Too Expensive for Retirees